Excavations at Alphington Street Shooting Marsh Stile, Exeter 1984 (Exeter archive site 80)

Cotswold Archaeology, Exeter City Council, 2015

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Cotswold Archaeology, Exeter City Council (2015) Excavations at Alphington Street Shooting Marsh Stile, Exeter 1984 (Exeter archive site 80) [data-set]. York: Archaeology Data Service [distributor] https://doi.org/10.5284/1035217

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Excavations at Alphington Street Shooting Marsh Stile, Exeter 1984 (Exeter archive site 80)

In the autumn of 1984, the Exeter Museums Archaeological Field Unit investigated a site on the corner of Alphington Street and Shooting Marsh Stile in St Thomas. The excavations took place in advance of road improvements linked with the construction of the new Albany Road leisure and shopping centre.

The earliest levels on the site consisted of coarse river gravels containing fragments of Roman tile. These were presumably deposited by the main channel of the Exe in the late- or sub-Roman times. A scarp along the north-eastern side of the excavation site may represent the furthest point reached by the main river channel when it shifted back towards the St Thomas side, probably in a single catastrophic event during a major flood some time in the the Saxo-Norman period.

By the mid 11th century, a mill leat crossed the excavation site on a line roughly parallel with Alphington Street. A small strip of marsh within the northern corner of the site was probably reclaimed with spoil derived from the excavation of the leat.

By the 12th or 13th century a hollow roadway crossed this area; this was eventually filled in with layers of gravel metalling in the 14th and 15th centuries. A building situated between the leat and the road, with one wall forming a revetment to the leat, is interpreted as a mill.